Pakistan win over China made them finish 7th which meant virtually an assured berth in the World Cup 2018. For China at the 8th position, the qualification was not guaranteed.

It was quite an absorbing contest with stakes high for both the sides. The first half saw the two sides creating chances through open play as well as the PCs. Third quarter was also entertaining; an up and down stuff at quite a fast pace.Then arrived the exciting last quarter with goals aplenty.

Pakistan cut it fine. It was goalless with just 10 minutes left for the match to finish.  Tension  was mounting among the Pakistanis in the ground, on the bench and in the stands.

In the 51st minute, Ammad Shakeel Butt, perhaps the most impressive Pakistani player in this event, beautifully robbed a defender. After a good run along the left flank, he slipped the ball to Dilber near the circle  whose first touch found Umar Bhutta in an excellent position. Bhutta’s angular shot hit the right corner of the goal.

A goal down, China put more players forward leaving gaps in the defence. Two more goals came in quick succession in the 56th minute. A sweeping counter starting from deep inside Pakistan’s territory resulted in Bhutta,  again, making it 2-0 with a reverse flick. Then an excellent reverse hit from the left was deflected into the cage by the diving Irfan junior.

China got a consolation goal with two minutes left on the clock. A ball into the circle was well dispatched on the board by an unmarked Guo Xiaoping with a first time strike.

SCORERS:

Pakistan: Umar Bhutta (2) & M.Irfan Jr

China: Guo Xiaoping

 

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